31 In 31: Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

Yes, the tagline for this film is "They Saved the Best for Last"....

Like usual, advertising lies. Rachel Talalay brings us probably the most incomprehensible Nightmare on Elm Street film in the entire franchise. Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) is stuck in Springwood, Ohio and all of the kids in town are dead; save for one mysterious guy who goes by John Doe (Shon Greenblatt).

John is thrust out of Springwood with no recollection of who he is and what is going on. He stumbles to a local  youth shelter where he meets with care giver Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and misfits Spencer, Tracy and Carlos (Breckin Meyer, Lezlie Deane and Ricky Dean Logan). Maggie attempts to have John try to remember details about his life by dreaming, wherein he begins to dream about Freddy and Springwood.

Maggie decides to take John to Springwood, accidentally bringing Spencer, Tracy and Carlos along to be Freddy's fodder. A plot that makes no sense later, Maggie, John and the kids must struggle to get out of Springwood and destroy Freddy Kruger once and for all.

Make no mistake, this is a god awful film. The script makes no sense; something about Freddy struggling to leave Springwood and take his show on the road... I really don't know. Along with that, director Talalay infuses the film with an intense supply of humor ranging from sight gags to cameos for no reason (including Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper to name a few). The humor really does not work and due to the large amounts of humor heaped onto this film, horror and suspense falls by the wayside.

Possibly the worst aspect of this film is the end. Freddy's final battle and how that is resolved is horrendous. From the lame use of 3-D to the dream demons and onward to Freddy's end all feel very uninspired. It is sad to look at where A Nightmare on Elm Street started and, at the time, this was how it was going to end. "Kids..."

Now, on the flip side, I still find this film somewhat enjoyable on a purely dumb level. Most of the gags fall flat, but some of them are entertaining... maybe because the rest of the film is that bad. The recurring house sequence, and Spencer's dream including the infamous "Power Glove" line are some of the so bad, it's good segments. Not to say that they are good by any means, but they stand out more than the rest of this cluster of a film.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare is a mixed bag of awful and less awful segments. On the plus side, I still think it is better than Nightmare 2 and 5. That has to count for something, right? Yes?

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